What is Auslan?
Auslan is the name used for Australian Sign Language, and is the natural language signed by members of Australia’s Deaf and hard of hearing community. Dr Trevor Johnston, sign linguist and lexicographer of the Auslan Dictionary, coined the term, Auslan in the 1980’s. Auslan evolved from the British Sign Language and Irish Sign Language, signed by Deaf people who immigrated to Australia during the nineteenth century.
According to research, Auslan is not based on spoken language, because many aspects of the vocabulary and grammar of Auslan are not related to English. Furthermore, Auslan has its own vocabulary and grammar as well as gesture-like signs.
The connection between Auslan and Deaf Culture has been well established.
Dr Laura-Ann Petitto, neuroscientist, has provided us with research evidence that the brain does not discriminate against sign and that language patterns (either speech or sign) are important to the brain for both signed and spoken language development. Therefore, acquiring or learning any signed language will not damage auditory brain tissue, but will help the deaf or hard of hearing child to develop their speech. Plus, early language exposure is important for behavioural control and cognitive skill development.
Available Courses & Workshops
Short Auslan Skills courses will enable you to learn from experienced Auslan tutors who have native Auslan skill, as their everyday language. These courses do not require learners to complete assessments but you will receive constructive and informal feedback from your tutor and most of all, have fun! We believe that’s the way learners learn best.
It’s time to learn
“Excellent course, it was highly recommended to me and I will highly recommend to others. I’ve appreciated being corrected on the signs and expressions to make sure I’m doing them accurately. I thought it was very engaging and comprehensive. Everyone in the class was friendly and nice. The teachers are approachable & supportive. Donovan was an excellent teacher. Thank you!”
“Donovan is my daughter’s main Auslan tutor and she loves working with him. Her Auslan skills are improving and she is confident and enjoys using sign language. I also have studied with Donovan and find his approach engaging as well as appropriately challenging!”